Monday, 23 May 2011

NASA image picks of the month!

Well it's been very hectic here at Starlearner but everything is going well for the students and I thought it was high time that we profiled some more of NASA's amazing imagery...

Sunset over South America taken by Expedition 25 Crew

Lightening rages near Endeavour at the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center - Bill Ingalls for NASA

A T-38 Jet, with astronauts training inside, is caught silhouetted against the sun in flight - Terry Virls for NASA

NASA Engineer Ernie Wright looks on as the first six flight ready James Webb Space Telescope's primary mirror segments are prepped before final testing.
David Higginbotham for NASA/MSFC

Endeavour is docked at the International Space Station during its 14 day mission.

The whole month of images can be viewed by clicking here

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Good luck Starlearner students!

Well, your hard work has been done and all of the controlled assessments have now been filtered through me and sent off to the moderators.  I have piles of big envelopes building up from schools and centres around the country so I'm off to the Edexcel Head Office on Saturday to prepare for the moderation process.  To all of the distance learners who are receiving their trial exams today - Good luck. I hope they go really well!

Monday, 2 May 2011

View the exoplanet Cancri e for the next two months...

In the news today more details were revealed of the 'super-exotic' exoplanet called Cancri e. It is 8 times as large as Earth and is the densest, most solid planet found anywhere to date. A human would weigh three times as much on the planet! 
Scientists believe that temperatures on the planet could reach 2700 degrees Celsius so not quite right for human inhabitation but as Josh Winn, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said: "it is the perfect laboratory to test theories of planet formation, evolution and survival."
It was found using the Doppler method and I'm going to blog about that in my next post.
Now whilst Cancri e is 40 light years away and not visible through our telescopes, its host star, 55 Cancri A, can be observed over the next two months by naked eyes on a dark clear night or using binoculars or a telescope, it is an extrasolar planetary system found in the constellation Cancer the Crab and here's a map to help guide you in...

This image found here illustrates the positioning of the extra-solar system in comparison to ours to give you a feel of the positioning...